A survey conducted by the Civil Society platform shows that Rwandans are happy with the contribution of performance contracts (Imihigo) in national development.
Imihigo is a cultural practice in the ancient tradition of Rwanda, where an individual would set himself/herself targets to be achieved within a specific period of time, while being steadfast in overcoming possible challenges.
The survey was launched yesterday during a public debate organised by the civil society to discuss the impact of Imihigo as well as the health insurance scheme (Mutuelle de Santé).
It was conducted in ten districts to assess citizens’ perception, vis-a-vis performance contracts and their role in spreading the socio-economic development, among other objectives.
Among the various questions raised during the survey was the citizens’ participation in Imihigo’s evaluation.
According to the lead researcher, Jean Marie Vianney Makuza, 43 percent of the respondents said they sometimes participated in the exercise while 36 percent said that they frequently participated.
“On the question of Imihigo’s impact on good governance, 35 percent of the respondents said it has improved public service delivery. While 32.2 percent of the respondents also said that it had improved security,” said Makuza.
Concerning its impact on communities’ economy, 25 percent said that it improved infrastructure, 22 percent stated that it helped in the land consolidation programme while 19 percent indicated that it had helped in strengthening cooperatives.
Regarding the social welfare impact on communities, 47 percent of the respondents observed that it had helped improve the mutual health insurance cover. 20 percent said it had helped improve education through the Nine-Year Basic Education (9-YBE), while 11.2 percent indicated that it had helped in eradication of grass thatched house (Nyakatsi).
The survey also used community score cards to collate views on how the performance contracts can be upgraded.
Here, citizens suggested, among others, that performance contracts be adopted at the village level as a linkage between the leaders and the led for effective implementation.
In his intervention during the public debate, the Governor of the Western Province, Celestin Kabahizi, said the survey was an eye-opener among leaders and communities, as it was a self assessment tool to establish what impact it has on them.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Cyrille Turatsinze, thanked the civil society platform for their role in conducting such important dialogues.
“I think the discussions here will help in shaping similar discussions expected to take place at the grassroots level during the governance month. The discussions will aim at assessing how governance can be strengthened,” said Turatsinze.